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Archive for December, 2007

I spoke too soon

December 31st, 2007 No comments

Worse segment on New Year’s Rockin’ Eve:

Ritz’ poll, done by Marysol, of course: “Is it more fun to keep your resolution or more fun to break your resolution?”

Four people in the crowd: break.

Done.

Categories: General Tags:

Marysol?

December 31st, 2007 No comments

Worst segment so far on ABC’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve: Marysol Castro (who?) interviews two girls with consecutive birthdays.

Maryosol (M): When is your birthday?

Girl 1 (G1): Today

M: And when is your birthday?

Girl 2 (G2): Tomorrow

M: No way!  And you two don’t know each other?

G1: Huh?

M: You two don’t know each other? [points]

G1: No

M: Wow!  Are you getting along well, is she a good friend?

G2: [Puzzled] Yes?

M: She was worried her hair wouldn’t look good!

G2: I guess.

Categories: Media Tags:

The Veuve Pipe

December 31st, 2007 No comments

For your viewing pleasure: Veuve Clicquot, Yellow Label.

[MEDIA=6]

Categories: Food Tags:

Salty update

December 29th, 2007 No comments

Alerwoman Brenda Konkel was nice enough to comment on my post from last night about WKOW’s poor “story” about the salt shortage on Madison.com.  Specifically she posted an email from Al Schumacher, Madison streets superintendent, about the real story on the situation. 

Based on the email, we have 10,000 pounds of salt available for this winter, and have used about 5,800 pounds over seven snowfalls already.  In addition, Madison has another 10,000 pounds available if necessary.  To me, that says we have about 4 snowfalls worth of salt left with our “regular” supply, and another 10 or so left with the salt in reserve.

Another commenter posted what likely was the actual story Madison.com should have linked to, which isn’t much better than the non-story from before.  Al Schumacher’s comments make it seem like the city recognizes they might run low on salt and that they are beign careful applying it, but it doesn’t seem like the panic WKOW is making it sound like.  Even better, Schumacher’s email outlines a 300 pounds of salt per lane-mile policy, while WKOW indicates that the policy is half that: 300 pounds per two lane-mile.

Also, good thing the WKOW starts out indicating a salt shortage in paragraph one, but waits to paragraph seven to let us know that we’re in no danger of running out of salt.

Perhaps they should stick to TV news and leave the online stuff to the State Journal.

Categories: Media->Local Tags:

I don’t condone preying on children

December 28th, 2007 No comments

But I do think Dateline goes a bit far to entrap people on its “To Catch a Predator” series.

I did a quick search for To Catch a Predator and entrapment, and Google returned what I thought would be a good article about exactly why what they do on the show is not entrapment.  Even better, the article was written by Stone Phillips, seemingly indicating even he had reservations about the segment.

Turns out, no, the article just says “we don’t entrap!” over and over again, then mentions that the Perverted Justice folks do initiate the sex talk.  I’m no legal expert, and I don’t condone anything those perverts do, but I do think NBC is generating its own crimes for money.

It’s not like Fox’s Cops where the cameras ride along with officers doing real work.  This is the media creating its own news.  It’s not just reporting about what’s happening, it’s going out there and creating something for it to report about.

I’m not sure I agree.

Categories: General Tags:

Madison.com + WKOW = 0

December 28th, 2007 2 comments

A link on Madison.com today pointed readers to what could have been an interesting story about a salt shortage during a record-setting snowfall period:

Curious, I followed the link.  Once there, I found it was a short story accompanied by a video.  I read the story first, expecting to find out more about the salt shortage.  Finding only a short blurb about the city being short on salt, I clicked the link to the video story by Sean Towle.

Don’t bother watching the video yourself.  Sean simply stands on a snowy corner and tells you three things: 1) it’s snowing 2) roads are slippery 3) plows are plowing.

What about the salt shortage you ask?  That’s the same question I still have.

It’d be great if somewhere they answered things like:

  • How short on salt are they?
  • Why are they short on salt?
  • What is being done to get more salt?
  • What is being done in the meantime due to the shortage?

Perhaps my expectations are too high.

Categories: Media->Local Tags:

Reasons to hate NBC’s Singing Bee

December 28th, 2007 No comments
  • Survey questions like “Which of the following TV themes do you like to listen to after a long day?” (what?!?)

A) Buffy the Vampire Slayer

B) Cheers

C) Friends

D) Gilmore Girls

  • Wannabe rockers who think they’re on American Idol
  • Contestant #30 from 12/28, Scott – possibly the biggest douchebag ever.  That says a lot.
  • Celebrity cameos from people like Welcome Back Kotter’s Robert Hegyes and Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs
  • Sony noise-canceling headphones product placement
  • Stylized renditions of the Scooby Doo theme
  • Poll questions like: “Which of the following TV shows has the most hummable theme song?”

A) Jeopardy

B) Andy Griffith

C) I Dream of Jeannie

D) Friends

  • The Honey Bees have a blog and it hasn’t been updated in nearly two months (perhaps no one thought this show would go anywhere?)
  • Contestants sing an octave too high
  • The contestants are pre-selected, but they pretend they’re not
  • Survey questions like “Which of the following TV themes would like you like as your own personal theme?” (what?!?)

    A) The Mary Tyler Moore Show

    B) M*A*S*H

    C) Friends

    D) Gilmore Girls

  • Ray Chew?  The Groove?
  • Joey’s extended end of word shouting “Does anybody want to win some monaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!”
  • Sony product placement a second time in the same show
  • The Groove attempting to sound like the Muppets for the Muppet theme song
  • Joanie and Potsie show up for a cameo
  • Songs where the title of the song is the answer (e.g. Facts of Life)
Categories: TV Tags:

Snow Blows

December 27th, 2007 No comments

This might be one of the more boring posts I’ve done, but here’s a video of me blowing snow at my house this past Sunday.  Exciting, right?  I hate snow.

[MEDIA=5]

Categories: House, Video Tags:

Stuck at LGA

December 21st, 2007 No comments

After my flight was canceled tonight due to “crew work limitations” (likely pilots hitting their max hours for the day or someone calling in sick), I sent this to NWA’s “Talk to Us” customer service email tonight. It’s a mix of madness and compliments, but it captures my frustration:

After a happy, successful year flying with NWA, I’m not on my last trip of 2007, right before the holidays, sitting in a dingy LaGuardia airport Wyndham hotel, waiting to get up at 4 AM for my rebooked flight, after my MSN -> LGA Pinnacle flight was canceled due to crew work limitations.

It’s disappointing to end the year on this note, with the crew work limitations being something that I can (likely naively) consider to be within the control of NWA.
Perhaps weather indirectly led to this situation, but the cancellation reason still lists crew work limitations, which seems to indicate that better staffing, more reliable employees, or better planning might have avoided this.

In any case, my original flight is not operating, and I’m crossing my fingers the overbooking magic the lady on the platinum line did will work tomorrow morning. I would hate to once again go through the hassle that is flying through LGA.

Despite the problems I’ve had tonight, Connie at the LGA Worldclub was very nice, helpful, and sympathetic. She performed exactly as I would expect someone in that position to perform. Her supervisor should be told about her efforts to rebook myself and a group of others in the same situation.

Thank you for your time, and have a happy holidays.

Categories: General Tags:

Adorama

December 21st, 2007 1 comment

After my utter misfortune making it to B&H last night, I had some time to spare before 7:00 PM tonight so I headed, once again, over to 34th and 8th Ave to visit the store.  Once again, the store was closed.  This time at 1:00 PM, on a Friday.  The Friday before Christmas.  The shop seemed to be run by Jews, so maybe Christmas isn’t their thing, even if it means more money?

I then decided “to hell with B&G” and looked up Adorama, another popular photography store, on my phone.  I took the subway down to 14th St., then hiked back uptown to 18th and over a few avenues.  Once again, I was foiled.  Adorama closes at 1:00 PM on Fridays as well.  What the hell?

I don’t quite get the whole closing early thing, especially on a Friday, the Friday before Christmas.

Back to Internet shopping I go, I guess.

Categories: General Tags:

Special Holiday Hours

December 20th, 2007 No comments

B&H is a very popular photography store located in New York. A few years ago I ordered a Canon flash for my camera from them and was very impressed. I often visit their website to check prices, but I’ve never visited their brick and mortar store until today, almost.

After eating, I headed eight blocks down and a few avenues over. I saw a sign on B&H’s window advertising late hours for the holiday season. Thinking that wouldn’t be necessary for me anyway because it was only 7:00 PM, I moved along towards their main entrance.

I thought it was odd that a number of people were gathered around the exit, peering into the store. When I finally reached the entrance, a number of people were hanging around there as well…due to the door being locked. It turns out that B&H closes at 7:00 PM on most weeknights, even when they have special holiday hours.

Who does that? Who closes at 7:00 PM anymore, let alone a popular business in New York? I guess they’re so popular that they don’t need to worry about those who simply want to stop by after work and maybe buy something.

If I had another full day here, I’d probably make the effort to get to B&G before it closes, but I feel kind of bitter I got there and it was closed so early. There are other stores to buy from on the Internet, I guess.

Categories: General Tags:

Oyster Bar

December 20th, 2007 No comments

In my continuing adventures of single-dining, I ate at Oyster Bar tonight at Grand Central Station.  It’s another place that I’ve always wanted to go to, and now I finally have.

I wouldn’t call it an amazing meal by any means, but I would say that it’s a great place to go for oysters, or if you’re forced to eat alone.  There are numerous “counters” resembling soda fountain or diner counters, as well as a regular bar-style seating area near the oyster shuckers.  I sat in the latter area between an out of town couple and some sort of elitist old couple from the area.  The older lady next to me was nice, but was wearing an incredible amount of jewelry and mentioned a few times how she had my beer somewhere on the lower east side recently.

Where I sat, you’re served by combination bus boy, waiter, servers who scurry around without stopping.  It’s the diner’s job to get their attention, because if you don’t actively seek it, they won’t give it.  Once I finally got someone to serve me, I ordered a glass of Chimay White, which, at $10, is apparently served in a few places.  It was ale-ish, with just the right amount of hoppiness and served very cold.  I’d order it again in a heartbeat.

To go with it, I got a bowl of clam chowder, and initially ordered the oyster sampler.  I was immediately told the sampler’s selections were tiny and didn’t look good tongiht.  The waiter offered to pick his own selection of oysters instead.  I obliged.

The clam chowder was nothing stand out at all.  It was certainly better than Campbell’s, but I wouldn’t go as far as saying it was any better than the stuff most restaurants serve that likely comes from big tubs made by Sysco.  There weren’t many clam pieces in it, but at least the ones that were there weren’t rubbery.

I really enjoyed the oysters.  My selection included two of each of the following four kinds: Bras d’Or (bruh-door), Chincoteague, Totten Virginica, Sunset Beach.  The Bras d’Or were probably the best (closest to the oreground in the pic below), followed by the Tottens, Chincoteagues and the Sunset Beachs.  The Tottens were huge, while the Bras d’Or were on the smaller side.  Usually I’m more of a quickly swallow it kind of guy when it comes to oysters, but each of these were chewable and tasty, where you didn’t want to rush it down.

I’m no oyster expert, but all of my oysters were still attached to the shell when given to me.  I’m not sure if that’s appropriate or not, but it was somewhat of a nuisance having to loosen them on my own.  Also, there was a bit of shell in the brine, which I’ve heard is caused by poor shucking.

It wasn’t horribly busy when I got there at 6:00, but before I was even done paying someone was jumping into my seat.  All in all, I have a new standard for other oyster places to live up to now that I’ve been to the Oyster Bar.

Categories: Food->Restaurant Tags: